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How to take care of your designer handbag: Expert fashion tips

Imaxtree.com Author: Elle Canada Credits: Imaxtree.com

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How to take care of your designer handbag: Expert fashion tips

After saving up for the designer handbag you've been dreaming of, you're finally the proud owner of an investment fashion piece. Congrats! Now, you're obsessing over how to make your handbag last forever. Joelle Litt, stylist at Toronto's Judy Inc., is here to tell you exactly how to take care of the handbag in your closet with six expert fashion tips.

READ MORE: The new fashion essentials

Expert fashion tip #1: Waterproof it
Before your handbag even leaves your closet (BTW: always store at room temp and away from sunlight) make sure you prepare it for an unpredictable Canadian climate. "Rain and snow can do permanent damage to your handbag, so apply a waterproof product to the outside before you use it," Litt says.

Expert fashion tip #2: Use those dust covers
"Store your handbag in a dust cover (they come with most authentic designer handbags) and make sure it's properly stuffed and not flat or empty between uses," Litt recommends. Before you safely secure the dust cover, fill your bag with loose tissue paper or extra fabric to help preserve shape.

READ MORE: How to find the perfect LBD for your body

Expert fashion tip #3: Add a bag liner
When you've invested in something so special, you need to take care of it, inside and out. "Use a bag liner to avoid soiling the inside of the bag. Liners can even be swapped from bag to bag to keep all of your contents in place," says Litt. You should also clean and condition the exterior leather once a week to remove any trapped dust or dirt.

Expert fashion tip #4: Take advantage of purse hangers
Passing on a purse hanger under the dinner table is a missed opportunity. "If there's a purse hanger, use it!" Litt advises. "Be mindful of your surroundings ¬– it's easy to set your bag down on countertops and in public washrooms. Avoid this when you can and check the surface when you can't."

READ MORE: How to take care of your winter coat

Expert fashion tip #5: Avoid overfilling
If you're notorious for packing your handbag like a carryon suitcase, you need to cut back on how much you lug around. "Never overstuff your bag! If it's too heavy it will cause premature wear and tear," says Litt. "Avoid loose makeup, perfume and oils. If you do bring them, use a separate makeup case within a bag liner."

Expert fashion tip #6: Handle with care

Yes, it is tempting to hug your handbag close to your torso, but it's actually hazardous to the health of your handbag. "It's best to hold your bag with your hands (instead of the elbow or shoulder) to prevent fabric dye from your clothing transferring to your bag over time," says Litt. "Learn from my mistakes and never carry your handbag and a coffee in the same hand."

READ MORE: 7 ways to make your outfit look more expensive

Here, we round up the top 10 investment bags every woman should own.

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10 bags every woman should own

Must-have bag: Day bag

A neutral tone and versatile strap and handle allows this classic day bag to pair nicely with literally everything in your closet. Dolce & Gabbana Cognac & Ivory Leather Colorblocked Miss Sicily Shoulder Bag ($2,245), at ssense.com. READ MORE: How to take care of your winter coat

By: Ava Baccari Source: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana Credits: ELLE Canada

10 bags every woman should own

Must-have bag: Backpack

The backpack we wish we owned in highschool (or that we were at least friends with the cool girls who did). 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Backpack in cloud ($825), at 31philliplim.com. READ MORE: The ultimate investment fashion guide  

By: Ava Baccari Source: Courtesy of 3.1 Phillip Lim Credits: ELLE Canada

10 bags every woman should own

Must-have bag: Crossbody bag

A pop of colour gives this perfect weekend bag a playful edge. Mackage Cody Poppy Crossbody Bag ($350), at mackage.com. READ MORE: How to take care of your heels

By: Ava Baccari Source: Courtesy of Mackage Credits: ELLE Canada

10 bags every woman should own

Must-have bag: Heritage bag

If handbags were milestones—and who's to say they aren't—this saffiano leather tote would be the equivalent of graduating, finding a job and getting married all in one celebration. Prada Tote ($2,100), at Holt Renfrew. READ MORE: 10 new fashion essentials

By: Ava Baccari Source: Courtesy of Prada Credits: ELLE Canada

10 bags every woman should own

Must-have bag: Weekend bag

Whether you're taking a road trip with friends or jet-setting for a girls weekend in NYC, a colourful and chic duffle bag is a travel essential. Orla Kiely Nautical Multi Stem Print Weekend Bag ($330), at orlakiely.com. READ MORE: How to find the perfect LBD

By: Ava Baccari Source: Courtesy of Orla Kiely Credits: ELLE Canada

10 bags every woman should own

Must-have bag: Top-handle bag

This season's must-have statement bag just so happens to be a wardrobe classic as well, making it the perfect time to invest in one. Kate Spade Mayfair Drive Perforated Tullie ($598), at katespade.com. READ MORE: 10 best beauty investments

By: Ava Baccari Source: Courtesy of Kate Spade Credits: ELLE Canada

10 bags every woman should own

Must-have bag: Metallic clutch

A metallic clutch goes with a little black dress on date night or can classy up a simple outfit of jeans and a T-shirt. Your call. Diane Von Furstenberg Lytton clutch ($460), at farfetch.com. READ MORE: How to take care of your designer handbag

By: Ava Baccari Source: Courtesy of Diane Von Furstenberg Credits: ELLE Canada

10 bags every woman should own

Must-have bag: Classic black bag

Like a long-standing BFF, every woman needs a go-to black bag to take her through both key style moments and everyday life. Stella McCartney Beckett faux leather shoulder bag ($1,230), at net-a-porter.com. READ MORE: 7 ways to make your outfit look expensive  

By: Ava Baccari Source: Courtesy of Stella McCartney Credits: ELLE Canada

10 bags every woman should own

Must-have bag: Tote bag

Perfect for running errands on weekends or carrying into a meeting, a sleek oversized tote in a classic tan shade is a smart and stylish accessory. Ela Scandi Shopper Stud in tan ($438), at elabyela.com. READ MORE: How to build your dream closet

By: Ava Baccari Source: Courtesy of Ela Handbags Credits: ELLE Canada

10 bags every woman should own

Must-have bag: iPad case

We may all be aslave to the same tech gadgets, but the accesories we carry them around in are all our own. Perfect for spring, this floral case is playful and brightens up any boardroom. Ted Baker Hera Floral iPad mini case ($60), at tedbaker-london.com. READ MORE: How to buy a coat

By: Ava Baccari Source: Courtesy of Ted Baker Credits: ELLE Canada

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How to take care of your designer handbag: Expert fashion tips